Canada has banned the export of some pharmaceuticals which are prone to scarcity in response to a U.S. plan to import drugs from the nation.
The federal authorities announced the ban on Saturday, saying sure medicine are prohibited from being distributed for consumption exterior of Canada if that sale would trigger or worsen a drug scarcity.
Well being Minister Patty Hajdu stated in a press release that firms will now even be required to supply data to evaluate current or potential shortages, when requested, and inside 24 hours if there’s a severe or imminent well being danger to Canadians.
“Drug shortages stay a worldwide problem and COVID-19 has elevated demand for sure medicine, including to the complexity of guaranteeing drug provide the place it’s wanted. The Authorities of Canada stays steadfast in its efforts to make sure Canadians have entry to the drugs they want, once they want them,” Hajdu stated within the assertion.
Hajdu added that Canada sources 68 per cent of its medicine from abroad and it is very important keep away from any disruptions to provides.
Though the federal government did not particularly say which medicine are affected by this announcement, it did suggest criteria for whether or not exportation of a drug will likely be allowed, together with whether or not the product is listed as a Tier 3 drug shortage, if there are shortages in some other markets, whether or not there’s an anticipated enhance in demand and provide chain elements.
The Canadian ban went into impact on Friday, days earlier than an government order within the U.S. would enable American pharmacists and wholesalers to import some bulk pharmaceuticals supposed for the Canadian market.
The “Importation Prescription Medicine” rule, issued by U.S. President Donald Trump in July and set to take impact on Monday, is meant to decrease drug costs for People however comes at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has elevated demand for some medicines.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has additionally spoken of permitting U.S. imports of prescription medication from different international locations as a part of his plans to decrease drug costs when he takes workplace on Jan. 20.
Whereas prescription drug costs in Canada are increased than different nations, they’re cheaper than the U.S.
Nevertheless, Canadian officers have repeatedly acknowledged that the manager order wouldn’t be an efficient strategy to lowering drug costs within the U.S. because the Canadian market solely represents 2 per cent of worldwide pharmaceutical gross sales, in comparison with 44 per cent for the U.S.
The Alliance for Secure On-line Pharmacies Canada (ASOP Canada) launched a press release on Sunday in response to Well being Canada blocking the export of sure drugs, saying they “applaud our authorities for issuing an Interim Order to limit the majority exportation of sure Canadian medicine.
“As Canadians proceed to undergo the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Interim Order will assist guarantee the steadiness and integrity of our Canadian pharmaceutical provide chain is maintained,” the assertion learn.
They added that ASOP Canada has been one of many organizations pushing for the federal authorities to implement stricter guidelines concerning the U.S.’s importation of Canadian medicine.
“Our drug provide is supposed for Canadians, not a rustic with a inhabitants 10 occasions our measurement,” the assertion identified.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated in September that he’s keen to assist different nations with pharmaceutical provides if attainable, however stated his precedence is defending the wants of Canadians first.
Hajdu maintained that guaranteeing Canadians have entry to the drugs they want is a “prime precedence” of the federal authorities.
“Our well being care system is a logo of our nationwide identification and we’re dedicated to defending it. The actions we’re taking at present will assist shield Canadians’ entry to the remedy they depend on,” Hajdu stated within the assertion.
With information from CTVNews.ca’s Alexandra Mae Jones